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Subject: Attended, Amazed, Grateful
First off, all shows are so subjective. I usually save my reviews for shows I actually attended. This being one of them. Less than 1/2 way through the first set I found an envelope on the dance floor behind all the seats downstairs, we were mashing it up! They had in/out privaleges at the show and I went outside at the break to see what was inside.....400 tiny pieces of paper all perforated together on little sheets!!!!! Felt bad for whomever lost them, but was I going to go inside and announce I had found them? HMMMM....
Went back in and stood at the end of the aisle downstairs and proceeded to give away 200 to folks walking back to their seats...right on the tongue....
Gives you a bit of perspective what it must have been like for the second set.
With Kesey's son's death, the Thunder Machine, an Epic Dew, and unfinished Sugar Magnolia and an Epic Brokedown.....what more can we say!!!
Oregon S2 -
Subject: Sound quality
I love all the detailed criticism of the quality of the recording - I've got TDK tapes that fade in and out and I still listen to them because I haven't forgot the love they bring! One of my favorite shows of all time!
Subject: Jerry mailing it in - utterly forgettable
I went into this show with very high expectations as I have been recommending it since I heard it for the first time about 2 ½ years ago. I have not listened to it since, and obviously my taste has changed or I simply did not listen to this show very closely a few years back. To that point, I cannot even remember why I was recommending this show…I mean usually certain parts stand out to me and are easily remembered. Not the case here. What I did remember still stands true, that Brent is waaay too high in the mix and basically buries everything but the vocals.
The show starts out with a pretty speedy Jack Straw, which I generally like as an opener but this one is not so great. Not really bad I guess, but there was no real soloing by Jerry at all and it lacked enthusiasm. Now CRS comes up next and Jerry’s vocals sound pretty bad right from the jump. Couple that with him being basically absent on the guitar for the second song in a row and I start thinking maybe he is not doing so good on this particular evening. My attitude changed almost immediately during Minglewood. Bobby is rip shit here and Jerry decides to make an appearance this evening and blisters his solo, leaving me thinking how stupid and short sided I was to question him just because he did not show for the first two songs. Next up is Candyman, and this is when I really start noticing how annoying Brent is with his levels so high. He actually steps in and does some of Jerry’s chords here, which would be a recurring theme throughout the night. MAMU>Mexicali starts with a bang as Bobby really gives it hell, but at this point it is painstakingly obvious that up till now Jerry has been mailing it in. Brent again is doing all he can to save Jerry and stepping in several times on Jerry’s parts, but it really does not help that much. Ten Jed and LLR were absolutely forgettable, and Might as Well was a real disappointment for me. Jerry should absolutely own Might as Well for it to be done properly, and here he just sounds out of gas. He does show up and solo for a brief moment, but basically it was Brent filling in most of his parts for him. First set is done and it was straight up mailed in by Jerry. For that matter, where was Phil? I listened to the Milller source and could hear what Phil was doing, but it was about as inspired as Jerry was. With the exception of Minglewood, this set was awful. Going through the motions with Brent covering for everyone does not equal a successful first set here. Brent was goin apeshit(see how I worked that in Z?) and Bobby was givin it hell, but without Jerry there ain’t much of a show worth remembering here. Yikes.
Second set starts with the utterly abysmal Scarlett>Touch combo, which sounded as if Jerry just got done passing around his stash to everyone that would take it. It is fast, full of misses, and is quite possibly the worst version of Touch I have ever heard. Again, Brent is waay too high in the mix and all over the place on this combo. Its almost like he is showing everyone up just by playing his part. I dunno, but I do know this second set opener is total dogshit. I am not saying it in a loving way either. Next up is Man Smart, which is an excellent choice for this evening, as it requires heavy work from Brent to be done well. Brent delivers with an almost funked out sound and I start thinking the band is sounding tighter and tighter out of no where. Nice. Next comes Terrapin, and this was the point I really started thinking Jerry had no interesting being there or performing. The irony here is that the song is about inspiration, and this is one of the most uninspired, Super Kermit slop jobs ever. Jerry misses left and right, Brent doing most of his parts, and really just plain bad. Real Bad. From there they melt into Space and Drums, and then drift into TOO. Here we have the most unique part of the show, and Phil finally decides to show up. This is a super-Brent heavy TOO, with Phil pounding it out in the background. I liked this, even though Jerry slept through most of it. There were a few feeble attempts by Jerry to trade with Brent, but for the most part it was everyone but Jerry. I don’t think I have ever heard anything quite like this from them before, and it seems they were desperately trying to squeeze something out of this show before it ended. Wharf Rat was next and done very well. As a matter of fact, I dug the TOO>Rat combo more than any other part of the show. Its hard for me to listen to the Kermit ballads because he sounds so sickly to me, but I am getting used to it from listening to so many here at review club. The remainder of the show was comprised of a Miracle>Dew and an encore of Smags>Brokedown. Everyone just sounded spent for the most part during the closer and encore(s) to me. Bobby’s voice was sounding a little shot during Miracle and Jerry, well, we will just leave it at that.
This show was dominated by Brent. He covered for Jerry almost the whole night. Bobby gave it hell also, up until he started sounding a little tired/shot towards the end. Phil was absent during most of the night(which is not uncommon for this time) and the setlist was sub-par. I am thinking Brent was turned up so high because someone behind the board knew that Jerry was having a hard time this evening…Who knows, I just think that because Brent had a very good night does not mean the band had a good night. As a matter of fact, I think this show was Ugly!! With the exception of Minglewood and TOO>Rat, this show was utterly forgettable. I think it has its moments, and if you are a big fan of Brent you will dig this more than I did. I just don’t think that a good performance by Brent makes for a good show. It just makes the show a show with a excellent performance by Brent. Jerry mailed this entire show in and the whole thing was uninspired. There was no real enthusiasm by anyone but Brent, and it seemed kinda depressing. 84 is not my favorite year but I do know there are far better shows out there from 84 than this one. I do not recommend this show(anymore), and I give it a C-. In my opinion, the only show we have listened to that was worse than this was that stinker from 95, 3/23 it was I think. I still have no idea why I thought I liked this show(as I cringe)….
E.R.C. Iceman! -
Subject: 4 Stars!!! Good 1984 board!
Good sounding board. Pretty solid show. All 3 shows wre nice. This was indeed a heart felt show for Kesey. RUDE cut in Brokedown! Prepare!!!!
Subject: rockin the silva
I was lucky enough to see all 3 of these shows but seeing the Scarlet/Grey pairing,the first Ive been told,took my breath away. The interaction between Garcia and Lesh leading up to it was classic Lesh yelling in his ear, Garcia shaking him off, Lesh going in again with another shake off Lesh making one last try and getting the desired nod. Loved it! The sound quality is what is is but the pretty solid set list makes up for it One of my fondest memories
...that being said ...a bad show is better that a good day @ work..
not a complaint really on this show, but its just run of the mill for 84.....
10/12, 7/13-15, 11/2-3, just to name a few are far superior....
84 was a dark and mysterious year...
but all in all ...good ole grateful dead
Subject: Now that was a helpful review
I certainly appreciate that last review. I would very much like to see more reviews like that one. It was very informative and told me something very interesting that I did not know before. I know that my opinion doesn't count for much, but I would much prefer more reviews like that last one than the standard reviews that gripe about the 'terrapin being a little tinny and Brent comin' in late.'
Most shows are imperfect but it's the only dead we have, we should enjoy it.
I'm going to use this version of Brokedown to accompany Kesey's speech during the Dark Star in Oakland ('87?) when he talks about his son. It will be a great way to teach _One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest_. I'm glad the archive is here for me to use. Keep up the good work. And thanks for the review.
Subject: Brokedown for Kesey's son?
Keseyso this is from the annotated lyric book:
"When I was a student at the University of Virginia, I had the fortune of hearing Ken Kesey give a talk and reading (this was about 5 years ago). Though his discussion was somewhat confused and disjointed, he had many moments of genius. One which I remember in particular was when was discussing the death of his son. His son had died when the high school wrestling team's van drove off a cliff during snow storm. Kesey went to great lengths to discuss his struggle with grief following this tragedy. He commented that not long after his son's death, he was invited to see the Dead play a gig somewhere on the West Coast. Kesey said that sometime during the second set, the whole band turned to him (he was sitting in a balcony seat, or was close to the stage...) and began playing "Broke-down Palace." Kesey recounted with tears in his eyes that it wasn't until that moment that he really understood what art was. He said that "All my life I thought art was this [he stuck a fist in the air]. But at that moment I realized that art was really this [he made a hugging motion]."
and last night i was hangin out with a guy who interviewed kesey for relix in 2001 and kesey had told the same story, saying it was at an opera house in oregon. his son died in 84 and seeing as someone else said kesey was in the house, im assuming this is the brokedown he's talking about. unfortunately it cuts off halfway through
is really all that needs to be said here. Classic 84' sound and Brent's keyboard sounds great. It makes up for the lack of Jerry in the mix. Too bad we can't download this one. Thanks Bobby!
The "static" you hear was something in the system at the show. I was on the side that the "static" was coming from (my friends on the other side couldn't hear it) and it was a real bummer. The show itself though is crushing!!! This was the first non "Scarlet/Fire" combo in 7 years. It was Phil's call as he walked across the stage and whispered something into Jerry's ear.....next thing you know they're playing "Touch of Grey".
King of all Horseplayers -
Subject: Bad Mix?
Just downloaded this show, the levels on Jerry's guitar are very low.
Subject: WORTH IT but...
Just chiming in to say that there IS some static on the third disc. To say there is none, nothing would be deceitful, but the static is not enough to pass this jewel of a show up. It is mildly annoying during parts of The Other One, the end of Wharf Rat and some in Miracle and Dew. It's hard to tell what's causing it (related to a particular instrument or speaker?) Anyway, I don't think it's enough to cause someone to not download this wonderful show. It was on the cassette IÃÂve had for 15 years and IÃÂve just learned to live with it.
Subject: Disregard the "NOT WORTH IT" Review
I have no earthly clue what the previous reviewer is speaking of. Perhaps the pink elephants told him there was static, who knows? I don't want people to pass on this show based on the inaccurate assertion that there is static littering the recording, there is none. Not a scratch, not a digi pop, nothing. What you do get is a really interesting '84 show with a great Terrapin (incl. that weird "Warriors" like sound effect from Brent), a wild drums/space with kesey and babs doing some odd chanting, and a back end with a really really really really good Wharf Rat. I haven't listened to the 1st set yet, but the 2d set is none too shabby.
Subject: NOT WORTH IT
This is a great show but the static in the second set is unbearable. Will some kind head replace this with something you can listened to. Thanks
Seperation of Dead and State -
Subject: Best show of the year...
The compendium doesn't talk about it, nor does Deadbase but this show stands above the rest. A perky VHS board sparks with sprightly energy from the entire group. Mydland and Lesh are superstars during the first set....best Jack Straw of '84 with Lesh pounding bass deep into the deck at Silva Hult making Garcia chase him like a hungry cat...Cold Rain is also great Mydland's B-3 adds so much and the minglewood jam is inspired and lengthy. (I also have this show on VHS so I can witness the interplay with my own eyes!) Everything in the first set rocks...the stage is smaller than usual making the bands sound more tight and layered. The second set is hot through Drums. The back end is sloppy wtih Garcia clearly spent from a long evening. This show ranks with 7/13/84 and 10/12/84 as the cream of crop....thanks archives